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Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2687; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112687

Study and Validation of Eavesdropping Scenarios over a Visible Light Communication Channel

1
Facultad de Ingenieria en Electricidad y Computacion, Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL), P.O. Box 09-01-5863 Guayaquil, Ecuador
2
Instituto para el Desarrollo de las Telecomunicaciones (IDeTIC), Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visible Light Communication Networks)
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Abstract

The security and privacy provided by Visible Light Communication (VLC) technologies is an area that has been slightly addressed due to the misconception that, since light does not go through solid objects like walls, VLC-based communications cannot be eavesdropped on by outside observers. As an upcoming technology, VLC is expected to be used in multiple environments were, due to radio frequency RF overuse or limitations, RF solutions cannot or should not be employed. In this work, we study the eavesdropping characteristics of a VLC-based communication. To evaluate these concerns, a two-step process was followed. First, several simulations of a standardly used scenario were run. Later on, experimental tests were performed. Following those tests, the results of the simulations and the experimental tests were analyzed. The results of these simulations and tests seemed to indicate that VLC channels can be eavesdropped on without considerable difficulties. Furthermore, the results showed that sniffing attacks could be performed from areas outside the expected coverage of the VLC infrastructure. Finally, the use of the simulation such as the one implemented in this work to recognize places from which sniffing is possible helps determine the risk for eavesdropping that our VLC-based network has. View Full-Text
Keywords: visible light communication; network security; data sniffing; eavesdropping; information assurance; communication visible light communication; network security; data sniffing; eavesdropping; information assurance; communication
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Marin-Garcia, I.; Guerra, V.; Perez-Jimenez, R. Study and Validation of Eavesdropping Scenarios over a Visible Light Communication Channel. Sensors 2017, 17, 2687.

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